During his keynote speech at CES 2009 Microsoft's boss Steve Ballmer demonstrated a slate from HP meant to compete with the iPad.
Despite the hype, the gizmo was a train wreck. As a result, HP was forced to reboot the entire project due to bad initial impressions focused around sluggish performance and a huge hit that the underlying Windows 7 software took on its battery.
Fast forward to CES 2011 and there could be a second coming for Microsoft and its partners, a decade after Bill Gates first inaugurated his stylus-based tablet PC concept in 2001.
Of course, a lot has happened since then, except for one thing - Microsoft's resilience and determination to promote tablet computing powered by its Windows operating system.
And how do we know this?
Because knowledgeable sources who spoke to the New York Times on condition of anonymity say so, that's how.
According to a report published on the paper's Bits blog yesterday, Microsoft's chief will announce an array of Windows 7-driven slates and show off at least two of them on stage.
One, from Samsung, will have "a unique and slick keyboard that slides out from below for easy typing" and a custom user interface skin and the other will be built by Dell.
This time around, Microsoft's boss will allegedly showcase fully featured products instead of prototypes. As for a possible "one more thing" Jobs-esque moment, the paper hinted at the following possibility in Ballmer's keynote speech:
Another person with knowledge of Microsoft’s plans said Steve Ballmer might demonstrate a tablet and other companion devices running the next operating system, Windows 8.
Before you flame us with angry comments, remember that we're just reporting here on other people's news.
Source: The New York Times' Bits blog